Dinos Dust Cascades in 2nd half Barrage

 

63 point blitz pushes Dinos to a dominant home win

Dallas Karch and the Calgary Dinos buried the UFV Cascades on Thursday.

Calgary  106  Fraser Valley  68 – A 43-37 game at the half turned into the rout for the Dinos, who tallied 63 points in the 2nd half, UC  out-shot the Cascades 49% to 336% from the floor, and hit 25/34 free throws to just 5/11for the visitors. The 24 UFV turnovers gave the potent Dinos offense more than enough chances .

Calgary goes 10 deep with 4 players in double figures.  Thomas Cooper scored 19 points, with 13 rebounds, and both Mambi Diawara and Dallas Karch hit 15 points. Point guards David Kapinga and Max Eisle paved the track with 5 and 4 assists respectively.  Fraser Valley cashed 13/32 shots from outside, with 15 points from Denver Sparks-Guest leading the way off the bench.   Box Score 

Calgary moves up to 9-2 for the season, and Fraser Valley drops to 5-6.  The teams play again on Friday at 8 pm.

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Scores from the East – 

Ontario –  at #10 McMaster 85 Laurier 54, at Windsor 85  Western Ont. 78

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Overtime –

TRU rookie point man, Madhu McConnell

  • The TRU Wolf Pack, over the Holiday period, lost the services of 2nd year and former all-rookie guard, Jeff Tubbs.  “It is not ideal that now you are trying to figure out player rotations,” Clark said about the situation.  Madhu McConnell (1st year, Victoria, BC) looks to be the player stepping up in the rotation.  Coach Scott Clark says, “ Madhu has seen an increase in playing time and he has responded.”   From Larry Read, TRU Athletics
  • The UC Women (8-3) came back strong in the 2nd half for a 69-59 win over UFV (7-4).  The home team trailed by 3 at the half, but scored 33 points in a hectic 3rd stanza to pull away.
  • You can tell it’s a big point spread in the game when Canada West TV broadcasters Lucas Meyer and John Tramble ‘drift off the dock’ with a thorough discussion of favourite movies and tastiest meals!  Focus boys, focus ….

Spotlight on UBC and Saskatchewan

 

Thunderbirds will be tested in road series in Saskatoon

 This opening week of play in January is a mammoth one for our projected top 3

Jordan Jensen-Whyte of UBC - photo

Jordan Jensen-Whyte is a veteran floor leader for UBC. photo- Thunderbirds Athletics

teams.  We’ve previewed the Calgary-Alberta match-up, and now we take a look at the T-Birds and Huskies (Friday and Saturday in Saskatoon).  UBC is 8-0, and, if they get 2 wins this weekend, they may be the odds-on favourites to get the coveted #1 seed at year’s end.  They have home court vs Alberta, then they will be heavily favoured in the last 4 series.

 No, you say?  Too early?  Well, the ‘Birds are 9-1 vs the Sled Dogs over the past 5 seasons, and have these factors going for them this week –  UBC have a 30 point average winning margin in 8 games. The ‘Birds are one of the top shooting teams @ 46% from the floor vs the 2nd worst 38.6% of the Huskies.  UBC goes 10 deep in most games, while Saskatchewan have been 7 to 7.5 so far.  The Thunderbirds boast the talents of 6-9 wing, Conor Morgan, who averages 25 ppg and leads Canada West with a 61.5% FG average. They have the battle-hardened Jordan Jensen-Whyte (14 ppg/ 6.5 rebs/ 3.5 asst) who is hitting 50% of his shots.  2nd year guard, Taylor Browne is starting to show his exceptional talent with 46% from 3 point range and 48% overall FGs.

On the other hand, U of S has home court, and they have the indomitable Shane Osayande.  The 6-6 forward averages a double-double of 20 ppg and a League-leading 11.6 rebs.  The Huskies have a dominant rebounding margin to go with the League’s top defensive numbers, thusfar.  Guards, Chan De Ciman, Alex Unruh, and Jaylan Morgan are all scoring in double figures, and are all playing valuable minutes on the perimeter.  We expect UBC to win at least 1 of the 2, but Saskatchewan will be up for this at home series against old rivals.

Victoria at Thompson Rivers –  This is the other series needing deeper scrutiny.  The

photo, Jeff Tubbs, TRU

TRU point man, Jeff Tubbs – photo TRU Athletics

‘Pack (5-5) are riding a 6 game win streak, including 2 vs NAIA schools last week in California.  UVic have lost 8 of 10 since the start of League play, with 2 losses at the Wesmen Classic last week.  The once pre-eminent Vikes defensive squad have given up 84 ppg in League play. Victoria at 2-6 in Canada West, simply put, need to get it back on the rails quickly.

TRU are ‘re-building’ after a dream season in 2015-16.  They do still have the stellar work of 6-7 Volodymyr Iegorov, their 5th year all-star forward, who averages 18.6 ppg/ 9 rebounds/ 4 assists.  Forwards Luke Morris and Joe Davis have been complimenting Iegorov.  Import Derek Rhodes, and locals Mike Rouault and Jeff Tubbs have been contributors on the perimeter.   This is a big opportunity at home for Coach Scott Clark and his Wolves, and a critical ‘must have’ for UVic.  Something has to give.

UNBC at Lethbridge –  The Timberwolves  (4-6) desperately need the services of Vaggelis Loukas, their top forward on the season.  Loukas was nursing an injury last weekend, but his 11 ppg and 8 rebounds can add so much. Rhys Elliott ( 19 ppg/ 54% from the floor) is having another outstanding year at the guard spot, and 4th year Marcus MacKay (13.5 ppg) is becoming a bigger factor every game out.  But, we’re in Lethbridge this week, and the ‘Horns are tough at home.  We see lead guard, Dejon Burdeaux, causing UNBC real headaches, along with big Zac Overwater and shooters Elliott Sentance and Mike Pierzchala.   ‘Horns will be hoping to sweep here, and the T’Wolves will need an exceptional team effort.

Brandon at Mt. Royal –  The Cougars (4-4) have had post man, Brett Layton, on the shelf as he struggles with a ‘wonky’ (medical term) ankle.  Obviously he makes a big difference with his rebounding and scoring.  Josh Ross, Derek Wolf and company will want to get back on track after 3 losses in the Dalhousie tournament last week.  Brandon (3-7) was less than impressive  in 3 losses in the Wesmen Classic.  They have the always tough Earl Thompson Jr., but are so inconsistent as a group.  Cougars will be too much with Layton back in action.

Trinity Western at Winnipeg – The Wesmen were not at their best in their 50th Classic, but Denzel Lynch-Blair, William Sesay, and Ryan Oirbans will have big motivation to make this a 2- win weekend.  TWU are making some progress, but the loss of Tyus Allen at the lead guard spot puts them in a difficult spot.  Winnipeg to sweep.

Regina at UBC-Okanagan –  The Green Cougars are not the most predictable team in Canada West.  They’ve won 5 and lost 3.  Beaten Saskatchewan, MacEwan, and Victoria, but twice they lose by 20 and win by 10?!?  What’s up with that?  UBC-O (1-9) is at home, and they are in great need of a win.  This is looking very much like an ‘upset special’ in Kelowna.

Vijay Dhillon can shoot the deep ball for UFV.

MacEwan at Fraser Valley –  The 3-5 Cascades host the 3-7 Griffins in a match-up where we see very little to choose.  UFV Coach Adam Friesen had his troops down in California for 3 games (3 decisive losses),  but he says, “ … it was great to get the group back on the court and get up and down the floor. We got a lot of people a lot of playing time, and we’re ready to get back into league play.”   Veteran guards are the strength of both teams – Thadius Galvez and Denzel James for Mac,  and Manny Dulay with Vijay Dhillon for the Cascades.  The teams split in Edmonton last seaon, and we foresee the same result this time around.

All these game are broadcast on Canada West TV  

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Overtime – 

photo- Shane Osayande

The U of S Huskies Shane Osayande is the League’s top rebounder.

  • Canada West’s top rebounders – Shane Osayande, Sask – 11.6, Josh Ross, MRU – 10, Brett Layton, MRU- 9.3, Volodymyr Iegorov, TRU- 9, Matt Forbes, Sask – 8.9, Keith Omoerah, Man – 8.6, William Sesay, Wpg – 7.8, Earl Thompson Jr, Bran – 7.6
  • The physical part of refereeing has become so important, with a faster pace of play using a 24 second clock.  Why then, do we not see a concerted effort on the part of the officials associations to move out some of the older officials and move in more young refs?
  • Name the only team in Canada West to be playing without an import player.  It’s not UBC-O , with their Randy Jernidier from Guadaloupe.  It’s not Manitoba, who have Ilarion Bonhomme from Washington, DC (even though he’s been here so long, we should be a ‘naturalized Canadian’.)   No, it’s the Saskatchewan Huskies, who have, in the recent past, had at least 1 key player from South of the border, but are now ‘all-Canadian’.

 

Wesmen, Pronghorns Highlight Week 3

 

Week 3 –  Pronghorns Go to Winnipeg, Two 3-1 Teams Tussle

Denzel Lynch-Blair and his Wesmen teammates host the Lethbridge Pronghorns this week.

William Sesay and his Wesmen teammates host the Lethbridge Pronghorns this week.    photo –    UW Athletics

Lethbridge (3-1) at Winnipeg Wesmen (3-1)  –  Here are two teams perched near the top, and a sweep for either would be a major coup.  The Wesmen are quick, aggressive on defense.  They are shooting the ball well (45% FG) and scoring more from 3 point range (10.3 per game) than in the past. The Ws also are +6 on their rebounding. Import guard Sean Tarver (15.8 ppg) has added offensive depth to the Winnipeg attack.  ’15-’16 all-star, Denzel Lynch Blair (15.5 ppg) has now expanded his game, and there are 5 more Wesmen who are contributing 8 ppg or more.

Lethbridge, like the Wesmen, are scoring just over 80 ppg, but not as much from outside.  They are also a +6 rebounding team, and the ‘Horns defense has been sharp at limiting the opponents 3 pt FG% (29%, which is 2nd in CW).  U of L have 4 scorers averaging double figures … Elliott Sentance with 18.8 ppg, Dejon Burdeaux at 17 ppg, Zac Overwater 14.8, and Mike Pierzchala 12.5.  Our call – In a tight match-up, UW has the home court.

Manitoba (2-2) at UBC (2-0)-  Manitoba won a 66-64 home court decision vs the ‘Birds last January, but that is the only time in 21 games dating back to 2001. This season the Thunderbirds are #2 ranked and unbeaten in CIS play, while Manitoba are 4-5 overall and 2-2 in Canada West play.

The Thunderbirds have scored 87 ppg and given up 63.5 ppg; their rebound margin is +19 per game! Manitoba has a strong veteran core, with a couple of key additions this season.  The problem has been that they are not consistently producing a winning team effort.   Our call – Two wins at home by UBC.

Thompson Rivers (1-3)  at Alberta (4-0)-  We were surprised to see the ‘new-look’ Wolves  steal one at Manitoba; now can they engineer another road upset in Edmonton?  Big Volodymyr Iegorov (18.5 ppg) has able assistance from 5 others in the ‘Pack, as Luke Morris, Derek Rhodes, Joe Davis, Jeff Tubbs and Mike Rouault are all 8 ppg+.  But mediocre shooting numbers and near 20 turnovers a game limit their offensive efficiency.

Mamadou Gueye leads the 4-0 vs this week at U of A.

Mamadou Gueye leads the 4-0 Bears vs TRU this week at U of A.

Alberta have Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke scoring and rebounding up front, plus import guard  Austin Waddoups and transfer Geoff Pippus both shooting 50% from 3 point range.  The Bears score near 87 ppg and allow only 64 ppg to their opponents, while TRU almost exactly reverses those numbers.   Our call –  The GBs in their own den, get the sweep over the ‘Pack.

Victoria (1-3) at MacEwan(1-3) –  Home court was only good for a 4-6 mark last year for the Griffs, but they look deeper this season at the point, with Adonis Monfort-Palomino, with a 10-11 man rotation, and the game-in, game-out efforts of Thadius Galvez and Denzel James. Mac needs to improve on a -5 rebound margin, and to tighten up on a defense allowing 85 ppg.

The Vikes were not sharp against Calgary last week, and they need to find their most effective combos.  Scott Kellum is a good looking rookie point man, and import, college transfer, Wayne Tucker J,r can score.  Now, do we see the typical gritty Vikes defensive effort, or do they continue to struggle ?  88 ppg against will give someone heartburn !   Our call- A split is the most logical.

Mt. Royal (1-1) at UBC-O (1-3) –  It’s very early to make this cliched pronouncement, but here goes, regardless;  neither of these teams can feel good about a split this coming weekend.  The Cougars have had a a glimmer of superior play this Fall, but this is a series where 2 games in the W column are needed.

Okanagan are even more ‘needy’ for a home sweep with a 1-3 mark.  The match-ups … Aldrich Berrios and Mitch Goodwin at guard for the Heat vs Derek Wolfe and Glen Yang for the Cougars.  Ryan Morck and David Manshrek of UBC-O with a big task facing Brett Layton and Josh Ross of MRU.   Our call-  Edge to the Cougars.

Brandon (2-2)  at Saskatchewan (2-2) –   The Huskies are coming off a tough loss to Winnipeg on Saturday, and have been leaning heavily on their versatile post man, Shane Osayande, who boasts a 22.5 ppg and 15 rebs  stat line. Alex Unruh, at the point, is 13 ppg/ 3 assists, but the shooting % for the rest of the ‘Dogs’ pales in comparison.  Sask. is last in Canada West in team FG%  at 38% and in 3 pt% at 27.4%. The talent is there.  It’s time for the Huskies to play to their strengths.

The Bobcats come in with 2-2 record, already ahead of last season !  Import guard Tyvon Cooper a proven scorer from the Jr. College ranks in the U.S. is at 19.8 ppg, but needs others to step up in the scoring column.  They allow 70 ppg … pretty good!  But score just 70 ppg, and shoot only inconsistently from the floor, and 59.8% from the line, last in CW.  This is a potentially winning defense, but they need more  shared scoring.  Our call – The Huskies should sweep at home.

The T'Wolves scoring ace, Rhys Elliot will look to get win #1 for UNBC this week.

The T’Wolves scoring ace, Rhys Elliot will look to get win #1 for UNBC this week.

Trinity Western (2-2)  at UNBC  (0-4) –  The Timberwolves at home, and they will be campaigning for a pair of wins to get their pack moving forward.  Trinity is showing signs of life, and they are not just going to roll over, however.  Rhys Elliot shoots 52% from the floor for the T’wolves, and is 19.3 ppg; he just needs Marcus MacKay, Vaggelis Loukas, and a few others to pull harder on the ropes !

The Spartans have Vartan Tanielien (14 ppg), Pogos Trunyan (13 ppg), and 3 others at or near double figures. TWU needs to shoot it better as a team, and defend the trey more consistently.  Our call-  This may be another split , we suspect. 

All 3 of Calgary, Fraser Valley, and Regina get a bye this week.


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Little Change in Top 10 –

It’s early, and some of the top teams haven’t played a League game, so not much to report.

We still have 5 OUA teams crowding the rankings, with just 2 from Canada West, 1 from Quebec, and 2 from the Atlantic.

Carleton and Ottawa join the rest of Ontario for a full slate this week. McMaster and Brock meet tonight in the only Top 10 match-up.

 


 

Overtime –

  • “I was telling these guys before the game, I’m proud of them because so far they’ve been the toughest group I’ve had,” said Brandon Coach Gil Cheung, following his team’s win over UBC-O last weekend. “I can get on them, I can coach them tough and sometimes it’s tough love. Sometimes the truth is harder to say than blowing smoke up their butt, but they’ve responded and everyone has a role. They value their role and that’s the biggest thing that everyone values each other in that room.”   From the Brandon Sun story by Nathan Liewicki         
  • “Decades have passed since CBC covered something as populist as basketball, though hundreds of thousands of Canadians play the game and 49 university teams battle on the hardcourt. And while an estimated 12 million Canadians are involved in amateur sports in some fashion (whether as participants, coaches, administrators or referees), according to the sports gurus at CBC, they’re all primarily interested in watching wealthy people leap fences while seated on a horse.”  From a story by Wayne Kondro for CIS Sport / U-Sport.

Dinos Host Bisons – ‘Feature Series’

 

 

Dinos14 Calgary vs Manitoba Promises an Exciting Opening Weekend

The opening weekend of Canada West League Play sees the Calgary Dinos hosting the Manitoba Bisons, two teams which played in last Spring’s Canada West Final Four. The Dinos have won seven of the last 10 meetings between these teams including a decisive 100 to 74 win at that Tournament in Calgary. Last season’s November League games in Winnipeg, however, both went to overtime as the teams split that series.

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos high scoring wingman, leads UC into a big home-opener series with Manitoba. photo- David Moll, UC

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos high scoring wingman, leads UC into a big home-opener series with Manitoba.          photo- David Moll, UC Athletics

The Dinos are the defending Canada West champs, and return 3 starters from that team, Thomas Cooper, Lars Schleuter, and David Kapinga, along with another 7 veterans including 5th year stalwarts, Jasdeep Gill and Dallas Karch, and 4th year, Jhony Verrone on the perimeter. The post spot is very deep, with veterans Matt Ellis, Mitch Ligertwood, and Connor Foreman along with a strong rookie, Jeff Rodehutskors.

Two more key additions for Calgary are import guard Max Eisle from Germany, and Montreal born wing man, Mambi Diawara, a transfer from Lamar State JC in Texas.  With all these capable players vying for floor time, it will be no small task for Coach Dan Vanhooren to mete out the minutes. “We are anticipating a fast pace of play”, said Vanhooren. “We will need to be moving guys on and off the court in pretty quick fashion.  We’ll expect to get deep into our roster in every game.”Manitoba copy

Manitoba are also blessed with a solid core of veteran players, led by Canada West all-star, Keith Omoerah, who averaged nearly a double/double of 13.2 ppg/ 9.8 rebounds last season.  Last season’s  scoring stats for the Herd were topped by sharp-shooting guard, AJ Basi (17.9 ppg), with combo guard, Justus Alleyn, at 15.6, and 5th year point man Ilarion Bonhomme off the bench at 10.3 ppg.

The Bisons big men, after the graduation of top rebounder, Wyatt Anders, feature the broad-shouldered Brett Jewell, and forward, Jonathan Alexander.  The addition of prized 6-7 rookie, James Wagner, and more minutes from 6-5 vet, Joey Nitychoruk will give them more depth as well.

Our call –  The Dinos have home court, and the UM had a shaky pre-season.  Still, they should be close in both games, with a slight edge to Calgary.

 

Point man, Phil Jalalpoor and his T-Birds team invade Kamloops to tip-off against TRU.

Point man, Phil Jalalpoor and his T-Birds team invade Kamloops to tip-off against TRU.  photo –   UBC Athletics

 UBC Thunderbirds   at  Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack –  The T-Birds really don’t believe they are anything but the favourites this season, we suspect.  With seniors Jordan Jensen-Whyte and Will Ondrik, along with 4th year stars, Conor Morgan and Phil Jalalpoor, they have much more big game experience than most Canada West squads.  The ‘Birds lost their 6-8 post-up man, David Wagner, but Coach Kevin Hanson is excited about his 4th year big man, Luka Zaharijevic, a wide-body with ‘soft hands’.  1st year, 6-10 forward Justin McChesney should also get some valuable minutes.

The UBC back-court sees Whyte as the leader at 15 ppg, and Jalalpoor hitting 11.4 ppg last campaign.  Taylor Browne was on the CW Rookie team, and the addition of rookie recruits Isaiah Familia and Izaiah Ugoalah gives them more choices.

TRU Wolf Pack copy

TRU will be hard-pressed to match the ‘dream season’ they enjoyed last year, with a 16-4 record atop the Explorer Division, and finalists in Canada West play-offs, with their 1st-ever trip to CIS Nationals.  Gone are Josh Wolfram (19.6 ppg/9.6 rebs) and Reese Pribilsky, the point man, and his 13.5 ppg, 6.2 assists, and 2.6 steals.  Not minor losses there , fans!

Thankfully, the bruising Volodymyr Iegorov returns for his 5th year, and he is a solid threat to average doubles in both scoring and rebounding. Big ‘Vlad’ is a sure-fire pro prospect.  Another quality forward is 6-5 Luke Morris, who should up his production in his 4th year.  Jeff Tubbs is now the lead guard, and the all-rookie team member from ’15-’16 looks up for the task.   Michael Rouault, a 6-4 shooting guard, is now in his 3rd year, and hoping to step up as a starter.

The ‘Pack have added  imports Maalik Hazziez, a 6-9 post, and Derek Rhodes, a big guard.  Noah Kaefer, a rookie guard, from Vancouver Island’s M. Isfeld Sec. should get some court time as well.

Our call-  The ‘Pack are in their own ‘Den’, but that may not be enough to get them by a powerful UBC team.  TRU won all 3 meetings last season, but we don’t see it this weekend.

 

Saskatchewan Huskies at Fraser Valley Cascades – This is an intriguing match-up, with veterans on both teams capable of leading a winner.  UFV’s Manny Dulay, Vijay Dhillon, Matt Cooley, Navjot Bains and Mark Johnson will get a boost from UVic

Manny Dulay is a solid 2-way guard for the Cascades.

Manny Dulay is a solid 2-way guard for the Cascades.    photo – UFV Athletics

transfer Andrew Morris, and Simon Fraser transfer, Denver Sparks-Guest.  The Cascades were 9-1 at home last season  … 9-1 !   Dhillon (15.6 ppg),  Dulay (11.6 ppg), and Johnson (12 ppg) can be expected to lead a balanced scoring team, and all 3 can shoot from outside at 40% from 3.  Bains, with 7.2 rebs/game and Johnson with 5.7 will get help on the boards, and UFV usually defends very well and takes care of the ‘ball on offense

The Huskies have a big front line, with Matt Forbes,who will be a big plus as he comes off an injury-plagued ’15-’16 season, and  Shane Osayande (13.8 ppg / 10.3 rebounds). Another big forward is the team 3 point ace,  as Trevor Severinski led Canada West at 47% last season..  Chan De Ciman, and Alex Unruh are back at guard, and the ‘Dogs add 3rd year wing man, Jaylan Morgan, who played 2 years in the U.S.

Our Call –  Saskatchewan has the edge up front, but UFV may well hang in there with a strong guard corps and solid defense.  U of S favoured, but home court for the Cascades makes this a toss-up.

 

at Lethbridge Pronghorns  MacEwan Griffins –  We have to assume that the trio of injured ‘Horns starters, Dejon Burdeaux (, Mike Pierzchala, and Zac Overwater, are not at 100%.  They have past hurts that just seem to pop up too often.  If these 3 can answer the bell, then UL’s fast paced attack should click. Burdeaux scored 12.5 ppg / 4.6 rebounds/ 3.5 asst, and Pierzchala is hitting 17 ppg + in his Fall appearances this campaign. Overwater (10.5 ppg)  is a big man with perimeter skills.  Elliott Sentance is a 3rd year transfer who can score with the best in the League, by early evidence.

The Griffs have a team that could surprise, however, with 7 roster players in their 4th or 5th years, and a 4-2 preseason record.  Denzel James (14 ppg/ 5.2 rebs) and Thadius Galvez (13.4 ppg/ 3.5 assists) are the guard leaders, with Keith Gerdes, Ryan Coleman, and Harrison Lane promising to give Mac a chance in every game. Adonis Montfort-Palomino transfers from Calgary, providing depth at the point.

Our Call-  The ‘Horns run in an enthusiastic herd in their own gym, and, if their starters are able to go, they may get both games here.  Mac is capable of a split.

 

at Alberta Golden Bears   Brandon Bobcats –  We believe the ‘Cats will be better, and Coach Gil Cheung is eager to see how this new group can come together.  But, the road assignment against the GBs is a tough way to start for BU.

Alberta has a dangerous1-2 punch up front with the dynamic slashing all-star, Mamadou Gueye (18.4 ppg/ 7.4 rebs), and last year’s CW rookie of the year, Brody Clarke (12 ppg/ 6.3 rebs).  Brett Roughead, at 7-1, will protect the middle in the effective Bears defense.  Newcomer guards , Austin Waddoups (3rd year import), and Andre Kelly (1st year, Mississauga, ON) will make an immediate impact.

The Bobcats have 5th year leader , Denham Buchanan, on the wing, and he will provide a much bigger presence this season.  Earl Thompson Jr. is another 5th year player who can score (16.5 ppg) and rebound (8 rpg). 6-11 John Paul, who hails from St. Lucia in the Caribbean, is expected to patrol the paint with improved skill and experience.

Our Call –  Maybe closer than we might expect, with Brandon having a shot at a split.  However, the Bears must be favoured on their home floor. 

 

at Regina Cougars   Victoria Vikes  –  This is a match-up of teams with ‘dreams of

Brandon Tull will be one of the key vets expected to lead the Cougars this season.

Brandon Tull will be one of the key vets expected to lead the Cougars this season.

glory’.  Well, certainly firm hopes of

a playoff future.  Regina has had a thorough ‘test run’ in the pre-season, including a loss to these Vikes back on September 29.  But here we are in Regina.  The  Cougars  were 8-2 at home last year, including a sweep of the Vikes.  Yes, they’ve lost Jonathan Tull, but they have a coterie of vets back, led by Brandon Tull (1.8 ppg/ 4 rebs/2 assts) and Alex Igual (10.8 ppg/5.6 rebs/ 5 assts)  and 5th year combo guard, Aaron McGowan, at the perimeter.  Brian Ofori, a 4th year forward, is a robust, quick attacker, and 250 lb, 6-7 Stephen Shields lends size up front.  A key addition at guard is rookie, Johneil Johnson, from Nova Scotia.

UVic lean heavily on 5th year swingman, Grant Sitton, who is putting up big numbers early this season.  The stalwart efforts of forward Justin Kinnear (Montreal) will be more evident as he plays his 3rd season.  Big expectations in the Vikes camp for import guards Wayne Tucker, a 4th year transfer from Oakland, CA, and freshman point, Scott Kellum from Issaquah, WA.

Our Call-  We might get a Regina sweep, but know that UVic will be looking to slow down the Cougars scorers.  This cries out as a probable split. 

 

The Ws will spend a lot of time West of the Rockies this Winter.

at Winnipeg Wesmen  UNBC Timberwolves  –  The Wesmen were the ‘quietest’ 5-0 team in the CIS in the pre-season.  They are still somewhat of a mystery, but have Denzel Lynch-Blair and William Sesay as confirmed stand-outs, with ‘DLB’ scoring (17.5 ppg last year) and Sesay, an all-rookie teamer, an easy bet to improve on 7 rebs and 10 ppg in his 2nd year.  Ryan Oirnans is expected to give more scoring in the post to go with his 8 + rebounds. 2nd Year Billy Yaworsky, at 6’7 should help at the forward, and new faces Sean Tarver ( 3rd year tsf, Baltimore, MD), and 6-2 rookie Narcisse Ambanza will help in the back-court.

UNBC  Coach Todd Jordan is looking for 3rd year guard recruit, James Agyeman (Brampton, ON) to combine in the guard spot with 5th year high scorer  Rhys Elliot (18 ppg/ 5 rebs).  Marcus MacKay, at 6-4, is a big shooting guard, and set for a solid season.  At the forward, Austin Chandler, a 6-6 tsf from Wenatchee, WA Junior College will join Vaggelis Loukas and Sam Zhang on one of the smaller front lines in Canada West.

Our Call-  We see 2 for the home team here.  The Ws will continue their winning ways to start the regular season.

 

Mitch Goodwin promises to be a floor leader for the Heat this season.

Mitch Goodwin promises to be a floor leader for the Heat this season.

at UBC- Okanagan Heat    Trinity Western Spartans –  The Heat will gladly take the home court advantage in the opener, and try and get a running start for the new season.  The guard combo of Mitch Goodwin (13 ppg/ 4.5 rebs) and Aldrich Berrios (14.5 ppg/ 3.7 assts)  have already served notice that they are ready to roll in a couple of smart efforts in October.  6-9, 3rd year, Ryan Morck has worked hard to be more productive up front, and he will have the ‘blue collar worker’ David Manshrek right with him.  Rookies Matt Lafontaine (Kelowna), and Tristan Matthews (N. Vancouver), will get a shot at some minutes right away.

Trinity has no where to go but up.  The Spartans will need to get a split in some of these series early on, just for some team confidence.  Vartan Tanielian, a 3rd year wing man, has been looking like their leader in Fall play, and he has big men, 7-1 Matt Hayashi , and 6-10 Patrick Vandervelden with an extra year experience and set to go.  Tee Mayberry, a 3rd year JC tsf from Pasadena, CA will also help at forward. Tyus Allen will be a big plus, as he returns to the guard spot after a year off, and import Pogos Trunyan, Sacramento, CA has shown some spark in the pre-season.

Our Call-  If the Heat guards can spark more UBC-O offense, and if their forwards can hold of the Spartans size, then we see a sweep by the home side.

 


 

Overtime –

  • The U. Calgary has been busy celebrating their 50th Anniversary of ‘independence’ from the U of A.  In 1966 the school moved  from being named UAC  to University of Calgary.  The alumni for most of the athletic teams have held events to mark this anniversary, and none has been bigger than the Nov 4/5 Basketball Weekend.  With the Manitoba Bisons in town for the League opener, ‘The Pioneers of Dinos Basketball’ will be feted at a Saturday pre-game Social.  Every living Dinos coach since 1962 will be in attendance including John Dewar, Don Newton, Skip Morgan, Tom Bishop, Gary Howard, Cory Russell, and current Head Coach, Dan Vanhooren.

    Regina Cougars coach, Steve Burrows

    Regina Cougars coach, Steve Burrows

  • Regina Coach Steve Burrows,  “We have such a balanced league that winning and losing are going to be separated by a fine line. We have to take care of the details and stay in the present. We can’t remember what just happened for very long.” “We don’t have a guy like Jon (Tull, the team’s leading scorer last season who has exhausted his eligibility) anymore who we could say, ‘Here’s the ball. Go make a play for us.’ We’ve got to work together and trust each other at both ends of the floor. That has taken us some time.”  From a Regina Leader-Post article by Ian Hamilton. 

 

  • 2016-17 CW men’s basketball pre-season coaches pollscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-2-28-12-pm

UVic, TRU Revamp Lineups

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

 Vikes and Wolf Pack With Big Roster Changes

Volodymyr Iegorov (L) , TRU, and Grant Sitton (R) , UVic , are 5th year leaders for their B.C. schools.

Volodymyr Iegorov (L) , TRU, and Grant Sitton (R) , UVic , are 5th year leaders for their B.C. schools.

The Victoria Vikes and Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack each had 3 key players  graduate last Spring, and lost several other roster players through attrition of one type or another.  Coaches, Craig Beaucamp of UVic and Scott Clark, TRU, were hard at work in the off-season ‘re-filling the tank’.

There are  8 new ‘Wolves in Kamloops, and 7 newcomers for the Vikes on the Island. This brings the challenge of ‘major renovation’ and integration of many who are new to the staff, the systems, and their new teammates.  There’s also the anticipation and eagerness of every team member to work together to form a competitive team.

The ‘Pack come off a record-breaking, historical season, while Victoria, uncharacteristically, missed the post-season.  Both coaches relish the process of building a new team, and their returnees and recruits, in both cases, hold the promise of good things ahead.

 

 Wolf Pack Focus on the New Season 

Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack

2015-16 – Canada West finalists             16 wins   4 losses   (Explorer Division)

Returnees – TRU 'Pack5th year – Volodomyr Iegorov,  6-7 fwd, Donetsk, Ukraine … 4th year – Luke Morris , 6-4 fwd, Mission, BC.   2nd years – Michael Rouault, 6-5 wing, Vernon, BC. Jeff Tubbs,6-2 guard, Kelowna, Joe Davis, 6-5 fwd, Kamloops, Kyler Eckess, 5-9 guard, Prince Rupert

 New faces –   Derek Rhodes, 6-5 guard, 3rd year, Sacramento, CA (tsf Sacramento CC). Maalik Hazziez, 6-9 fwd, 3rd, Sacramento, CA (tsf American River Coll.).  Noah Kaefer, 6-4 fwd, 1st, Courtenay, BC (Mark Isfeld Sec.).  Jordan Komarniski, 6-0 guard, 1st,  South Kamloops Sec.  Madhu McConnell, 1st, Victoria  (Oak Bay Sec.) . Ryan Miller, 6-6 fwd, 1st, Kamloops (Valleyview Sec.).  Trent Monkman, 6-1 guard, 1st, Telwa, BC (Smithers Sec.) .  Jass Singh, 6-0 guard, 1st, Abbotsford, BC  (W J Mouat)

Coach Scott Clark says,  “This is a new team, and a new challenge.  It’s fun!  We start the journey, and work together as hard as we can to prepare to play in this League.  Who knows how things will turn out? “  The veteran coach, who is in his 7th year at TRU, was previously 15 years as the Head Coach at Simon Fraser.  His ’15-’16 ‘Pack won the Explorer Division, beat Regina in the 1/4 Finals, then beat UBC in game 1 at the Canada West Final 4.  TRU lost to Calgary in the Final, but represented Canada West at the CIS Nationals in Vancouver.

Wolf Pack forward, Luke Morris (L), and lead guard, Jeff Tubbs (R)

Wolf Pack forward, Luke Morris (L), and lead guard, Jeff Tubbs (R)

But as the coach insists, this is a new team, and they really are, with just 6 returnees, one of whom, Joe Davis, did not play last season.  So Clark and his staff do face a challenge with 8 newcomers to integrate into the squad. He does benefit from the power of 5th year import, Volodymyr Iegorov (18.5 ppg/ 7 rebs), a Canada West all-star in ’15-’16, and a leader all summer in team training these past months.   Promising to do his part as an aggressive scorer (12.5 ppg) / rebounder (6.3 rebs) on the forward line is Luke Morris, who had a terrific playoff last year. Coach Clark says, “Joe Davis has come back in great shape, and looks much improved; he trained hard, and should really contribute.”

Jeff Tubbs, a selection on the all-rookie team last year, will be the lead guard, and he should follow nicely in the footsteps of Reese Pribilsky, now graduated. Michael Rouault is another 2nd year player, who shot it at 47% from the floor and proved to be a solid rebounder in year 1 in orange.

Among the newcomers, it’s Derek Rhodes who’s turning heads with his ball-handling skills, and his ability to shoot the trey. Rhodes set school records at Sacramento City College with his long-range sniping.  Post/forward Maalik  Hazziez is a hard-working big man, who will give help to an already strong group.    Madhu McConnell comes in as a 1st year lead guard with skills and confidence, and Noah Kaefer is a promising looking wing man with good size.

“We will do the best job we can to prepare this team for the games we have coming up; every time out, we want to have each guy prepared to do his job, and to have our team compete for a win ”, declares Coach Clark. The Wolf Pack  have great skill and size at key spots, and they should be competitive again this year.

 Schedule –  Nov-Dec … UBC, at Manitoba,  at Alberta , UBC-O,  at UNBC                 Jan-Feb …  Victoria, Winnipeg, at Fraser Valley, Calgary,  at Regina

 Prediction –   Tough schedule, but TRU still in the running.

________________________________________________________

 

Victoria Vikes

’15-’16 –     no playoffs                9 wins – 11 losses  (Pioneer Division)

Returnees – 5th year –  Grant Sitton, 6-9 wing, Brush Prairie, WA … 4th year – Hassan Abdullahi, 6-3 guard, Montreal … 3rd years – Justin Kinnear – 6-6 fwd, Montreal, Hayden Lejeune – 6-8 fwd, Chilliwack … 2nd year – Taylor Montgomery Stinson – 6-3 guard, Victoria  … 1st (RS) – Jason Scully – 6-4 fwd, Victoria (St. Michael’s Sec). Graeme Hyde Lay – 6-0 guard, Victoria (St. Michael’s)

Newcomers –   Jake Newman – 6-6 fwd, 3rd, White Rock, BC (tsf Lafayette Coll., PA). Scott Kellum – 6-1 guard, 1st, Issaquah HS, WA. Noah Charles – 6-5 fwd, 1st, Duncan, BC (Cowichan Sec.) . Wayne Tucker -6-1 guard, 4th, Oakland, CA (tsf Olds Coll., Alberta).  JJ Hamel Carey – 6-0 guard, 1st,  Montreal, (Cegep Champlain- St. Lambert) . Vlad Zasmolin – 6-5 wing, 1st, Calgary (Sir W. Churchill). Ty Stewart Nelson – 6-1 guard, 1st,  Toronto (Shannon Forest Christian, SC)

Starting his 14th season as the Vikes head man, Craig Beaucamp will be intent on getting his new team back into the upper reaches of Canada West and CIS Basketball. After 3 straight UVic appearances at the CIS Nations from 2013-2015, the Vikes missed the playoffs last year.  But this 5-time Canada West Coach of the Year is certainly up to the task.

“Our guys are working hard, and did so with their summer program as well”, says Beaucamp.  “Our big men, Justin Kinnear and Hayden Lejeune, are stronger and ready to give us a strong play inside.”  The coach tells us that 5th year leader, Grant Sitton, has moved to the wing/small forward spot, taking advantage of his perimeter skills.

Rookie import guard, Scott Kellum, has impressed the coaches, and is penciled in as the starter at the point. “We’ve watched his progress since early in high school, and this true freshman can really play”, offered Beaucamp. Another import, Wayne Tucker Jr., has more experience, as a 4th year transfer from Olds College (Alberta), where he was the Alberta Colleges scoring leader last year. “Wayne is quick with the ball on offense, and quick on the ball defensively;  he’s a skilled shooting guard”, says his new coach. The guard play is further enhanced by the experience of JJ Hamel Carey, a 2 year CEGEP transfer, along with returnees Hassan Abdullahi,  and Taylor Montgomery-Stinson.

Two new additions to the Vikes roster, Wayne Tucker Jr. (L) and Scott Kellum (R)

Two new additions to the Vikes roster, Wayne Tucker Jr. (L) and Scott Kellum (R)

Noah Charles, the 3rd brother from ‘up-Island’ to play for UVic, is “ a tireless worker”, with a big, strong body  (6-5, 240) for a young guy.  Jake Newman, a 2013 White Rock Christian grad “come home” to UVic after 2 years at Lafayette (PA) and a red shirt year at Carleton.  His father, Jamie, was a member of national championship Vikes teams in the 1980’s and his sister, Jordyn, played with the women’s Vikes through the 2012-13 season. Newman is “ … ready to make a big contribution to our team”, says Coach Beaucamp.

The pieces are there, it would seem, and now we see how they will all fit together.

Schedule –  Nov-Dec –   at Regina, Calgary, at MacEwan, UBC home/home (4) Jan-Feb –  at Thompson R., at UBC-O, Lethbridge, Trinity W., at Fraser Valley, Winnipeg  (6)

Prediction –  Very different team.  We doubt they miss 2 years running.


 

CIS Scores from Thursday – 

  •  at the Guy Vetrie Memorial in Victoria …  McMaster 69 McGill 62 – A come from behind by McMaster.  Turnover and foul-filled, with  Mac shooting 44 free throws.  no box score
  • Victoria 76   Regina 67 – Grant Sitton and Wayne Tucker Jr., with 15 points each, as UVic survive a shaky start.  . Box Score
  • Saskatchewan  66  Medicine Hat College 65   ( OT)    Box Score

Games tonight – 

East – Concordia  Queen’s, Ottawa  UQAM, Toronto  Memorial,  Ryerson  Mohawk Coll., Bishops Maine – Ft Kent , UNB  St. Marys,  Acadia  St. FX ,  Carleton  Laval ,  Algoma  Laurentian,  Nipissing  Laurier

West –  Lakehead  Winnipeg  ,  Victoria  McGill  ,  McMaster  Regina